LEEDS - The difference between Leeds United and Manchester United is easily defined as the difference between the managers of the two clubs: Manchester's Sir Alex Ferguson is arrogant and detached, while Leeds's Terry Venables is much more of a man of the people. He's much friendlier and more approachable.
After 16 years at Old Trafford, Ferguson is expected to step down at the end of the season, but will maintain a role with his club. Venables is like a rolling stone. Gathering no moss, he will move on once his contract at Elland Road comes to an end; it's always been that way with the Londoner, who never stays for more than a few years in any one place.
The differences in attitude are also evident in terms of Ferguson vis a vis his Israeli opponents (Maccabi Haifa) and Venables' relationship to Leeds United.
Ferguson was confused and spoke only in general terms of the attributes of the opposition; it was embarrassing to watch.
Venables knows each Hapoel Tel Aviv player inside out and has even sought advice on the correct pronunciation of their names. He made sure to get the name "Abuksis" right, and he did not miss the fact that Sergei Clescenco was named as Moldova's player of the season for 2001/02.
Perhaps the reason for the differences between the two coaches is that Ferguson has worked only in Scotland and England, while Venables has seen employment at several clubs in England, he was boss of Barcelona and he managed the England national team and the Australian national team.
He has been exposed to the cosmopolitan life much more and is more open to foreign thinking. It's probably why he is more respectful of his opponents.
Venables could be beaten by smaller clubs' but he would never be humiliated in the way Ferguson was in Nicosia.
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